Category: Home Improvement

Stupid customers still have to live somewhere. While we applaud them for sometimes wanting to make the place look nice, please don’t assume flat-pack furniture comes ready out of the box, or that power-tools are named as such because they need power! They make Tim The Toolman Taylor look like Frank Gehry!

Time To Rent Him A New One

| Washington, DC, USA | Bad Behavior, Home Improvement

(I own a couple of rental properties in DC. One of them is available for rent and I set up showings for it. Valuing my time, I often set up several appointments around the same time, if possible, so that I don’t have to make numerous trips to the property to show it to just one person. On this (weekend) day, I have scheduled 8 back-to-back showings, and my last appointment of the day is late, without calling/texting/emailing to say he’s running behind. After waiting 30 minutes past his appointment time, I go to leave. Walking out of the building and finding a young man sitting on the front stairs, surfing the Internet on his phone.)

Me: “Hi! Do you live in the building? I don’t think we’ve met yet.”

Young Man: “No, I’m waiting for this b**** of a landlord to come out and meet me. I’ve been sitting here for five minutes!”

Me: “Oh, well, only a couple of the units are rentals, and I have most everyone’s phone number. Maybe she’s not picking up your call because she got distracted. If you tell me who it is, I’ll try her, or can go in and knock on the door.”

Young Man: “I didn’t CALL her; she should know I’m waiting for her! She should have been sitting out here to greet me! She must not want to rent her property that badly!”

Me: “Well, it’s a little cool and it’s been raining off and on today, so she’s probably inside waiting. Maybe you should try calling her, or tell me who she is and I’ll call her.”

Young Man: “Ugh, fine, it’s [My Name] in [my unit number]. Tell her to get down here fast or I’m leaving.”

Me: “Well, hello, [Young Man], I’m [My Name], owner of [My Unit]. I’ve been sitting upstairs waiting for the last half hour for you to call, text, or email me that you’re here for your appointment, as I instructed you to do when you got to the front door. Seeing as you admitted you’ve been waiting for only five minutes, it’s lucky I caught you before I left. Would you still like to see the unit?”

Young Man: “I suppose, but you should have come down and checked to see if I was here. My phone could have died or something.”

Me: “I did, twice. Since you only showed up five minutes ago, you weren’t here when I did check. Right this way to the unit.”

(I show him in and he makes a big show of sniffing every time he walks into a room or looks at an appliance/fixture. After looking around for about ten minutes, he comes back into the living room where I’m waiting to “talk business.”)

Young Man: “Well, I guess this will do as a temporary space. It’s extremely run down and I figure everything will break in six months from what I’ve seen. Because of that, I want to negotiate the rent, starting at [$400/month less than my asking price] and get the utilities included due to the inefficient appliances. I also won’t sign a lease longer than six months.”

Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way. All of the appliances in this unit are energy star and less than five years old, and the basics like the furnace, air conditioner, and water heater are all less than ten years old and were fully serviced in the last six months and given a clean bill of health, with a few minor repairs which I gladly paid to have completed. If you had bothered to ask before assuming, I would have told you that. Since you feel my terms are unreasonable, I guess this isn’t the apartment for you. Thank you for your time looking at it. I’ll show you out.”

Young Man: “WAIT! Don’t you want to rent this place? No one would pay what you want for this s***! I’m the only chance you have of getting a tenant. You should negotiate with me so that you don’t lose money!”

(I take the five completed applications from the other prospects who have viewed the apartment that day, with application fee checks clipped to them, out of my bag and plop them on the table.)

Me: “I don’t need to negotiate with you. I have five people who have applied for this apartment TODAY, plus nearly the same number from yesterday. For the record, I’ve been renting this place to a friend, at the same rent I’m asking now, for the last three years and he’s ONLY moving out because he’s finally buying his own place… He LOVES this apartment. I don’t know where you came from, but this is what you get for the rent I’m asking here, and, honestly, you usually get a little less because I take good care of this place, including being fully, legally licensed to rent.” *gestures to the rental license mounted on the wall* “Most rentals at this price point are illegal death traps. So, again, I’m sorry that you feel I’m trying to rip you off, but I’ll show you out now and I wish you good luck in your home search.”

Young Man: “Oh, crap… Um… sorry. I thought I could play hardball and get a better deal. Will you still take my application? I mean, I still think utilities should be included, but I can pay the rent you want – or, at least close to it. Please?”

Me: “You showed up almost a half hour late to your appointment, complained because you didn’t follow my instructions to get in while giving me a sorry excuse for why you ‘might’ not have been able to do so, and then insulted me and my property. I really don’t think this will work out. Sorry, but let me show you out.”

(He started screaming to the point that the downstairs neighbors — two big dudes I am friends with because I also live in the neighborhood and see them around — came running upstairs to see what is wrong. I gratefully threw the door open when they started pounding on it and saying “this is Neighbors #1 and #2; is everything okay?”. I told them what was going on, and they physically tossed the dude out of the building. Unfortunate as it was, I now make sure that someone else is with me while conducting tours/open houses at my properties, and only give ten minutes grace for late appointments unless they contact me to tell me they’ll be later than that.)

Growing Bed, Shrinking Brains

| Perth, WA, Australia | Extra Stupid, Home Improvement

Customer: “Hi, I’d like to return these sheets.”

Coworker: “Okay, let’s have a look. Do you have your receipt?”

Customer: “No. The sheets are faulty and I want a refund!”

Coworker: “What’s wrong with them?”

Customer: “I brought them a couple of years ago for my queen-size bed. Last week I upgraded to a king size bed and THEY DON’T FIT. No-one told me they wouldn’t fit!”

Coworker: “…”

(The customer complained so much the matter was escalated to head office. She got her refund.)

It’s Time To Throw In The Towel

| Halifax, NS, Canada | Bizarre, Crazy Requests, Home Improvement

(I’m the stupid customer here. I’m looking for a long carpet for my hallway when I spot something that looks perfect but it’s too short. I find an employee and ask for help.)

Me: “Do you sell something like this but 12-15 ft. long?”

Employee: “That’s very big, sir. Why would you need something like that?”

Me: “It’s for my hallway.”

Employee: “I don’t think we have anything like that in the size you’re looking for.”

Me: “Are you sure? I saw longer rugs in here last week.”

Employee: “Uh… sir, that’s a towel.”

Tales From The Stupid Dimension

| Bullhead City, AZ, USA | Extra Stupid, Home Improvement

(I work in the hardware department of a large home improvement store. One day a customer asks me to cut a piece of plywood for him to the dimensions of 18X24 inches. I proceed to make the cut and hand the plywood to him, but I hand it to him upside down so it looks 24X18.)

Customer: “Wait, this isn’t right. I wanted it 18X24.”

Me: *I stare at the customer a moment, then just smile* “Oh, I am so sorry about that. I can fix it for you, no problem. May I please have the piece of wood back?”

(The customer smiles back and happily gives me the board. I proceed to rotate it ninety degrees and hand it right back to him. He just stands there and stares at me a moment then laughs and shakes his head.)

Customer: “I feel like an idiot.”

Me: “Eh, don’t worry about it; we all have our days.”

Not A Fan Of The Product

| Barrhaven, ON, Canada | Home Improvement

(I pick up the phone. The customer complains about an air conditioner he bought, saying it doesn’t work.)

Caller: “The air conditioner doesn’t work. It gives cool air. I want cold air.”

(I sense it might be a case of flipping the control knob on the unit from cold to fan.)

Me: “Have you flipped the knob to cold air? It might be on fan.”

Caller: “No. It gives cool air; I want cold air.”

(I go through various options. The customer keeps complaining the unit puts out cool air and he wants cold air.)

Me: “What air conditioner do you have, sir.”

(The customer reads off the brand.)

Me: “Sir, you’ve bought a fan.”

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